The Internet has made the world smaller, especially for freelancers. The platforms and search engines that are now available have made it easy to find potential projects, engage with clients, and bid for jobs, anywhere in the world. That opens up many opportunities, but it does not close the door on one of the best options that you have as a freelancer—getting local clients.
Here are 8 tips to help you find local freelance clients.
1. Use Your Connections
Always start with people and businesses that are close to you: businesses that you already know, or businesses that you know you can get an introduction to. It is much easier to get a client when the client already knows you, or knows someone who has recommended you.
2. Join Local Business Organizations
You should get involved with your local chamber of commerce and any other local business organizations. This will let you meet new people and identify new opportunities. It will also increase the number of people who are aware of your services.
3. Attend Local Networking Events
Attend seminars, trade shows, exhibitions, and specialized networking events locally. These are not places where you engage in hard selling, but you will meet new people and start building relationships that can turn into future job opportunities.
4. Find a Local Partner
Joining forces with another freelancer or small business that offers services that complement yours is another way to find clients. It has to be a reciprocal relationship, though, so that your partner gets value as well.
Examples could be writers joining forces with website designers, or marketing consultants teaming up with graphic designers.
Ask your satisfied customers to recommend you to other businesses. As already mentioned, it is easier to get a sale from a client when you've been introduced with a recommendation.
6. Get Published Locally
One way to get local clients is to build up your reputation as an expert in your field and to get some name recognition. You can do this by offering your services for free to local media organizations and publications. They usually struggle to find enough high quality and relevant local content to fill their needs, so are likely to be open to your offer.
You could write a column for a local newspaper, a blog for a local website, or offer to do a regular slot oat a local radio station.
7. Establish a Web Presence and Optimize It For Local Search
You should also have a website and a profile on relevant social media platforms to help you find and win local clients. Your online presence should also be optimized for local search, which primarily means registering on Google as a local business.
8. Local Classifieds
Finally, keep an eye on the classifieds in your local area, both in the press and online. Depending on the service that you offer, you can also advertise in local classifieds
Most importantly, you have to be proactive and get involved in your local business community in order to win local freelance clients.